MD3 Rider Demo Flight

Gryf FlyItalia MD3 Rider
Gryf FlyItalia MD3 Rider

In September 2007, I visited a small airfield (Aviosupercie JFK) in Dovera, Italy for a demonstration flight in the MD3 Rider. At the time, FlyItalia had assumed ownership of the design and was offering sales of aircraft it had in production at a nearby facility. The MD3 was originally designed by Gryf Aircraft of the Czech Republic where some early models had been manufactured.

The MD3 is an all metal European ultralight, high-wing, 2-place aircraft. The model offered by FlyItalia had increased gross weight with a Rotax 100 hp motor and speeds up to 150 MPH. I recall the cockpit being spacious and comfortable with excellent visibility both forward and through its large window/doors. Both occupants sat legs forward in a natural, effective position with easy access to pedals, stick and instrument panel.

FlyItalia MD3 Rider demonstrator, September 2007.

The MD3 has a history of languishing about in the light aircraft marketplace. It’s basic form is very similar to other aircraft of the 2-seat UL genre with many having flown 1,000s of hours. The entire MD3 fleet I would expect is quite young, yet its construction would belie the service life of now 17 years since first flight in 2004.

Besides the now-defunct FlyItalia, others including firms in Florida and Texas once offered the model for sale. Only three aircraft appear on the FAA registry. Upon inquiry with the current seller, Next Aircraft also in Italy, several are supposedly flying in Europe.